Beliefs and Practices of Traditional Medicine among Women in Reproductive Health Care: A study in Damot Woyde Woreda, Wolaytta Zone

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Addis Ababa University


This study has been conducted with the major arm of investigating the beliefs and practices of traditional medicine in reproductive health care by emphasizing on rural areas. The reproductive health issues covered in this study are: prenatal care, delivery care, postnatal care, birth spacing service, abortion and STDs. In order to investigate the beliefs and practices, this study has employed a crosss ectional qualitative approach; and the data are collected by making use of in-depth interviews, FGDs and key -informant interviews. The study subjects were selected purposively with the help of health extension workers of each kebeles. Sixteen in-depth interviews with practitioners of traditional medicine; twenty-two and sixteen in-depth interviews with married and unmarried women in reproductive age, resp ectively; two FGDs consis ting of seven participants and two consisting of six participants with married and unmarried women (two with each of them); key informant interviews with health extension workers, a midwife in Badessaa health center, two senior citizens who are knowledgeable about the practice of reproductive health in the area, have been conducted to collect the primary data. Prenatal care, delivery care, abortion serVlce and treatment of STDs are among the major services that the rural women get from traditional medicine practitioners in relation to reproductive health; whereas birth spacing/control and postnatal care serVlces are among the services that are not as such significant. None of the reprodu ctive health problems is believed to be caused by supernatural forcers). And the practice of traditional medicine is not accompanied by the belief that the issues should be addressed by the practitioners because they are caused by the forces. Besides, it is widely believed that the knowledge that the practitioners have is learned from their parents, than being given by supernatural forcers). Practitioners known as TBA; TBA and wogesha; TBA and herbalist; TBA, herbalis t and wogesha; herbalist; and herbalist and wogesha are the practitioners who are engaged in provis ion of the reproductive health services. Traditional medicine and its practitioners have decisive place in the provision of reproductive health services in the rural areas.



Practices of Traditional Medicine among Women in Reproductive Health Care